Page 5139 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

(b) resources for improving bus priority on existing routes to cut travel times; and

(c) a “park and ride” facility at the Gungahlin Town Centre.

This week a $1 million trial of Redex begins. Redex offers services between Gungahlin and Kingston, via the city, at a 15-minute frequency between 7 am and 7 pm. It has been touted by the government to be the future of public transport in Canberra and will be evaluated in six months time.

Redex means “rapid express direct”—the implication, of course, being that these buses are somewhat rapid, they are express, and they are more direct relative to other ACTION buses. However, this title is clearly only glossy rhetoric, covering up a service that is abysmally planned and does not deliver all the benefits to commuters that it claims to.

We would all, of course, remember the budget announcement of these rapid transit services that would link west Belconnen with Belconnen, the city, Barton, Woden and Tuggeranong. There was also the other link that would provide a rapid option from Gungahlin to the city, Barton, Woden and Tuggeranong. That has been scaled back to one service between Gungahlin, the city and Kingston, which is very unfortunate.

What does this government have against the people of west Belconnen? Who in the government or the Greens is advocating for west Belconnen? I did not hear Ms Porter or Ms Hunter criticise the minister’s decision to wind back services to west Belconnen. Surely, if they were effective, genuine and objective local members, they would have been speaking out in favour of better bus services for Belconnen.

Whilst I welcome an investment in services in Gungahlin and in other parts of Canberra, as I will shortly describe, there are no time savings, or negligible time savings, and the majority of commuters from Gungahlin will not benefit from this service.

It is easy to understand why when you look at the route map: the Redex buses travel down the exact same route as the existing routes 51, 52 and 59 services from Gungahlin to the city during peak hour, and the existing route 5 service during off-peak hours. They have to stop at the same traffic lights and contend with the same traffic that the current buses do.

During off-peak hours, routes 51, 52 and 59 provide links between Belconnen and the Gungahlin town centre through Nicholls, Ngunnawal, Amaroo and Forde and on to the city. During peak hours, there are 50 services a day which extend the service from Belconnen, Gungahlin suburbs, the Gungahlin Marketplace and on to the city interchange. Of those 50 services, 22 are in the morning and 28 are in the evening. So it is possible for someone in Nicholls, Ngunnawal, Amaroo or Forde to get a bus in the morning and go directly to the city. In the afternoon, they can get a bus from the city and go directly to their suburb. For one of these passengers to use the Redex, they would have to get off the bus which is city bound, wait at the Gungahlin Marketplace

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video